Hockey Equipment

By: Kent Pinkerton

Hockey is one of the most popular contact games played in the US, probably next only to soccer and rugby. There are several versions of hockey played such as field, inline, rink and ice hockey. All use specialized gear and equipment.

The basic equipment of hockey is a stick, which may be about three feet long. Hockey sticks are round and generally made of wood covered with fiberglass; aluminum sticks are also used and both varieties feature suede and rubber grips. Field hockey sticks have hooked bases, which are rounded at one end and flat at the other to accurately smack the ball into the goal. Ice hockey and inline hockey sticks have broader bases and most are designed for right-handed players. When holding the upper portion of the stick with your left hand and the lower portion with your right, the base curves forward, forming a shallow scoop for catching and guiding the puck.

Field hockey uses a molded plastic ball. Ice hockey and inline hockey use hard, vulcanized rubber discs called pucks. Both balls are sized according to hockey associations. The objective of any version of hockey is to guide the ball or puck towards the goal net. Goal nets are supported by steel frames and have durable synthetic nylon nets.

Protective gear and team jerseys are just as important as the skates or footwear, the stick and the puck. Protective hockey gear is comprised of a chest protector, a helmet, large padded shorts, shin pads, a neck protector, and other gear. Make sure you use all protective gear whenever you play hockey. Some pick-up games of hockey are not played with protective gear, but safety should come first.

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